Reviewed by: Patty Moliterno
“Saturday Night Live”
“Curb Your Enthusiasm”
“Rules of Engagement”
“The West Wing”
Omid Abtahi, Jeff Daniels, Patrick Breen, Kenan Thompson, Carlos Alazraqui, Kath Soucie, Jane Lynch, Zack Shada
|Director:||Kirk De Micco
“Racing Stripes” (writer/producer)
“The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot” (writer)
|Producer:||Vanguard Animation, Starz Media, Curtis Augspurger, Jerry Davis, Louise Goodsill, John W. Hyde, Tom Jacomb, Ralph Kamp, Barry Sonnenfeld, John H. Williams|
|Distributor:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation|
“From one of the primates who brought you ‘Shrek’”
Ham, the real life original space chimp, was a hero from years gone by. He was launched into space in 1961 and died in 1983.
“Space Chimps” begins by remembering this hero. However, since the space program no longer uses chimps, the 3 chimps left at the space agency (Luna—voice of Cheryl Hines, Titan—Patrick Warburton and Comet) are in perpetual training—for nothing. When an unmanned probe goes through a wormhole and lands on an uncharted planet, the space agency decides to send chimps to check it out. However, the Senator decides they need a hero chimp and selects Ham’s grandson, Ham III (voice of Andy Samburg). Ham III is working at a circus and enjoys being in the limelight. Every night he gets shot out of a cannon into “space.” He does not want to be in the space program, and is going to cause problems for everyone.
When the chimps finally land on the planet, they are forced to bond to overcome the obstacles they encounter. One of these obstacles is the “evil alien lord” Zartog (Jeff Daniels). Zartog terrorizes everything on his planet. Can the 3 space chimps save themselves and the aliens from Zartog?
There was some objectionable content. One comment was made about a monkey being a “poop thrower” (which, of course, monkeys do throw poop, but the line was inserted to make kids laugh). There was also the usual male making advances toward the female present in almost all movies being made now. Ham says “I am a hottie.” Ham asks Luna if that is a banana in her pants—most children would seem to think that was a normal line for a chimp to ask another chimp.
Zartog is called lord. Someone says “oh my god.” They also use the line “kicked his butt.” Ham thinks Kilowatt (a little, cute alien) is drunk because she acts crazy when the chimps first meet her.
There is cartoon violence. Ham is shown being shot out of a cannon several times and crashing back down on the ground. Zartog has no regard for life and uses the unmanned probe to “grab” whoever he wishes to place in the “lava” pit and freeze. The little glowing alien, Kilowatt, is swallowed and passes out of an ugly and scary monster. Alien plants have sharp teeth and try to attack the chimps. Flying creatures shoot spikes at the chimps.
This movie does have some endearing qualities. Ham III teaches Luna to let loose once in a while and have some fun. The fun loving Ham learns from Luna the importance of taking things seriously. Ham also confesses that he has taken Houston (the chimp who has treated him like a son) for granted. All the chimps learn valuable lessons and learn how to work together. Ham teaches Kilowatt how to face her fears, and, in turn, Kilowatt sacrifices her life to save Luna and Ham, just as Jesus Christ sacrificed his life for us.
Before seeing this movie, I kept wondering how they would spin this movie. There were so many ways they could have taken the storyline, and I was curious to see how this movie would turn out. For some reason, it appears as if they could not decide on one storyline, but wanted to mix storylines from almost every space movie you have ever seen. There are similarities to almost all your favorite space movies rolled up into one. With that said, you could imagine how this movie jumps from plot to plot, while trying to tie up loose ends they created. Mixed in with all the storylines are a bunch of bad chimpuns such as “chimprovize,” “furious George,” “no monkey business,” etc.
While I thought this movie was incredibly stupid, and so did anyone over the age of 13, it did have an appeal to the 3-10 year old crowd. There is very little content that a parent would object to. This is a summer movie made to help you entertain the kids on a rainy afternoon.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.